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Posts with tag breakfast-topic

Breakfast Topic: Dungeons in Warlords of Draenor

Straight to the point: how do you feel about dungeons in Warlords of Draenor? Personally, I think they're solid bits of content -- most of the dungeons are fun, and in a video game, that's praise enough. My only exception to that is Grimrail Depot. I expected the zone to evoke the feeling of a wild west train heist more than it does, which might simply be due to the type of game it is. World of Warcraft won't ever feel the same as, for example, Call of Juarez Gunslinger. The dungeon never feels like you're anywhere but in the stationary depot portion of the dungeon until you fight Nitrogg Thundertower and the trials and tribulations of pickup groups through the dungeon finder saps some of the magic from that particular encounter. Beyond Grimrail Depot, though, I adore Warlords dungeons.

Unfortunately, I haven't been running them very much because they simply don't feel rewarding. The massive item pools means you have a hard time getting items you actually want. And now that LFR is open, you can get better gear more easily and nearly bunny hop heroic dungeons in their entirety. I'd like to see dungeons become more rewarding in this expansion. If not the loot inside of the dungeons, then perhaps giving you a shot at LFR-quality loot from a bag at the end of a dungeon each day. LFR loot is already so ubiquitous it feels like a why not? situation.

I also wonder if simply pulling the daily objective out of the dungeon finder pane and onto a daily questgiver in my garrison might make me feel differently. There's a lot of simple psychology at play in games -- seeing a blue exclamation mark right in my face might compel me to complete it and I'll probably have a good time doing it. Tucked away in the dungeon finder, I will never see it and never remember to queue for a dungeon from which I don't need loot, even if I'll have fun.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Novus Alfar Noctem

Above you is a night elf male, on the beta. As you can see, in Tier 10 it's pretty hard to really tell the difference, but it's pretty profound if you get a chance to look at the model when it's more stationary. Understanding that this is still a work in progress, it's a pretty amazing leap forward and I'm definitely interested in playing a night elf warrior in Warlords now.

Also debuting last night were the human male, tauren female, and both male and female trolls. If you got a chance to play any of them, what did you think? And if you're not in the beta or just didn't get a chance to play, which of the new models are you most interested in getting to see?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: Argus

As much as I love Warlords of Draenor's focus on draenei and draenei culture, I'm very much interested in the world the draenei originally come from, the world of Argus. Especially when we're told several times that the draenei crystalline magical technology worked better there - that they had vast cities, an elaborate and storied magical culture so amazing that it attracted the attention of Sargeras the fallen Titan himself. I've wanted to get to see Argus for years, ever since I ran into members of the Argus Wake outside of Alterac.

What does the planet look like now? Is it a blasted ruin, or do its towers still rise imposing, as the bastions of the eredar warlocks? I'm just totally nuts about the idea of getting to see it all. As much as I'm jazzed for Draenor, part of me wishes we'd gone to Argus instead.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: Are you a one toon kind of player?

I struggle with alts more than anyone I know. I have my main--my beloved druid--and she has been my One True WoW Toon since I created her in 2007. Over the years I have tried and tried again to get a second toon to max, but it just hasn't happened. This time around I'm pretty close; I have a paladin at 86 and a mage at 83, so the race is on. Will I make another one to 90 before WoD drops? With the rate it's going, if I don't, I should probably be ashamed of myself. And before you ask--no, I haven't pre-ordered, so the boost isn't an option (yet).

Here's the thing, though. As much as I've always wistfully dreamed of an army of crafters to make obtaining raid items just that much less expensive, part of me always feels like I'm kind of missing out when I'm not on my main. There's still plenty of things I have yet to achieve with her, don't you know! But alas, I can't get that Double Agent or Dynamic Duo achievement with just one!

How about you? Do you have an army of alts at your fingertips, or are you a one toon devotee, like myself?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Raid wipes and eternity

The Greek myth of Sisyphus tells the story of a self-serving king who repeatedly tricked and cheated the gods during his life. When he finally died, King Sisyphus was punished for his pride and insolence by being made to eternally push a boulder up a hill. Just endlessly toiling away in the Underworld wasn't enough of a sentence for him, though. To punish him further the gods enchanted the boulder so that whenever it neared the top of the hill it would slip from Sisyphus' grasp and tumble back to the bottom of the hill. Sisyphus' hell is one that encapsulates futility, hopelessness, and frustration.

This story came to my mind a week ago when my guild repeatedly wiped to heroic Sha of Pride in the Siege of Orgrimmar ... A boss which we technically have on farm. After the fourth or fifth attempt in which we died to the enrage timer, I leaned back in my chair and thought, "This is it. This would be my punishment in hell."

After thinking on it further I decided that while heroic Sha of Pride farm wipes are bad, there is likely another boss that I would find even more unbearable to repeatedly wipe to. Some of the long fights like Garrosh or Ragnaros 2.0 would be contenders. Then there's the fights with annoying mechanics like Razorscale or Faction champs. Then there are those two encounters at the end of the raid-instance-which-must-not-be-named ... Anyway, I still haven't decided what the ultimate punishment for myself would be, so I thought I'd ask you all for your own. Let us know which boss and why!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Some fights are weird

Every single time I tank the Klaxxi Paragons fight, I think to myself This is a really weird fight. Between it being a council fight with nine bosses (three active at a time) and with it completely negating AoE (every time one dies the other two that are up get healed and a third one drops in) plus the stacking buffs that make it a bad idea to leave any one of them up too long, and each one adding new mechanics that need to be dealt with, it's just a weird fight for me to wrap my head around. I can grasp some fights just fine - Spoils, Norushen for instance - that have strange mechanics. But while I can tank Paragons just fine, I don't pretend to grasp the fight as such. It's a weird fight, I don't really get it.

Any fights like that for you? Not just asking for SoO - did you find fighting Kologarn weird, back in Wrath? Was Cho'gall a mind-twister for you? What fights make you just throw up your hands and say 'whatever, let's get this over with' the way Paragons does me?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: I hate you, Maloriak

I solo Maloriak every week. Every week he fails to drop my hat, so I have to come solo him again the next week. I hate this for two reasons - Maloriak is an intense pain to solo, with many awful mechanics that make me curse and swear, so having come back and do it again is bad enough by itself. But I also hate Maloriak for more intangible reasons. It's been two plus years since Maloriak was relevant in any way, and yet here he is, still stymieing me every week. I hate the way the cauldrons are randomized, so I never know if I'm going to get frozen in place for 20 second and then he'll get a fire cauldron and melt me to death while I'm completely unable to do anything. And I hate that ridiculous end phase, while he's putting a healing over time spell on himself while punting me up in the air and setting the ground on fire and swarming the room with adds.

I hated Maloriak when he was relevant even though as a warrior tank in Cataclysm I was well suited to tanking his adds - even though I enjoyed tanking adds on fights like Nefarian and even Spine of Deathwing, I hated them on Maloriak. I just hate everything about you, Maloriak. And I'll see you next week, since you didn't drop my hat again.

Got a fight you really hate, but can't seem to get away from?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: Olympic WoW

goblin versus worgen
Even if you're not following the sports, there's no way you could miss that the Olympics are happening. Who would want to miss a worldwide spectacle of heroes and some of the finest athletes on the planet? They're beautiful, amazing, and downright breathtaking. They're also a big interruption to a busy schedule of dailies, farming, and raiding.

Of course, we're pretty deep in a pre-expansion lull, so that interruption isn't nearly as bad as it could be. (Thanks to Blizzard for not dropping Warlords in the middle of the Olympics.) Still, if you're trying to wrap up some goals, these Olympic fever could be pretty frustrating. At least you have plenty of random commentary and chatter during which you can squeeze in a little farming time.

Are you playing WoW during the Olympics? Are they playing on a second screen? Have you had to cancel a raid or take a brief break to see one more ski run? Has the games had any effect on your game at all?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: What do you want to see under the tree?

Winter Veil
Grandfather Winter tends to bring some epic gifts. Whether we're talking about exploding cars or exploding balloons, there's always been something with a little bang and boom under the tree. But that makes me wonder what we should expect this year. In a world thoroughly soaked in pandas, beer, and scions of fallen warlords, what could be under the tree in 2013?

Of course, we know that Warlords of Draenor is lurking around the corner. Could there be a TARDIS? Maybe a DeLorean, ready to soak up the gigawatts and launch us into a new adventure? Or perhaps something a little more father afield: is this the year we see an exploding submarine?

Regardless of what it ends up being, we can always hope and dream. That's what the season is all about, after all. So, what do you hope to see under the tree this year? Let your imagination run wild and enjoy the wonderful, creative season for everything it's worth.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: What's your biggest fan moment?

BlizzCon 2010: Ghostcrawler
The funny thing about being a WoW fan is that you don't just walk away from the game when you log off. Oh, sure, some people just play a few hours a week, and don't spare another thought for Azeroth while going about their business. But, honestly, just among us: don't you spend a little extra WoW mind-time outside of the game? You see that weed in the corner of your yard and think, "Yeah, my herbalist could use it."

That's why I've loved BlizzCon. I get to enjoy all these little fan-squee moments when I meet Ghostcrawler or get to shake hands with Wowcrendor. And while I narrowly avoided naming my daughter after WoW, I'm afraid my loyal hound is saddled with the name Sylvanas. (Makes for awkward veterinary trips, let me tell you.)

My biggest fan squee moment was the first time I walked onto the floor of BlizzCon and saw that immense status of an orc riding its worg. It was this odd moment of fan service and love for the game, and I'll always carry it with me.

What's your biggest fan moment for WoW? Did you meet someone? Encounter a guild member in the wild? Or did you, perhaps, label a loved one with an Azerothian name, forever marking them as the offspring of a WoW player?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Because I do

Breakfast Topic Because I do
I was having a discussion the other day with someone who really really hates transmogrification. It just irritates the heck out of him, to the point where he argues that it has ruined gear visual design and made everyone look like patchwork abominations. Obviously, I'm probably the least receptive audience for this argument he could have chosen. Still, at the end of his rant, he asked me a question which I think is worth answering here - "Why do you even like this joke of a feature?"

My response was the title of this Breakfast Topic, ultimately. I like transmogrification because to me, it's fun. It's fun going out and getting just that perfect model for the look I'm trying to create, whether that's to match up a set, or to deliberately clash with a set. I like putting together theme outfits I'll probably only use once (like the above set in muted blue/white/grey above) to match colors or just because it strikes my fancy. But most of all, I like transmogrification for the exact reason my friend hates it - it adds nothing to character power. It doesn't add numbers or make you a better player, it just allows you to choose your own look. I don't think it's constrained the design team in any way - it just means their work will be on display longer.

And that I need a lot more bag space, of course. That doesn't really need to be said.

So now I ask you - what do you completely love despite other people's disdain for it, or hate even though everyone else seems to love it?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Does LFR impact raid design?

Breakfast Topic Does LFR impact raid design
A few days ago, the player Camaranth started a thread on the tank forums examining the number of tank swap mechanics in raids. While the discussion is a good one, there's a reply written by Snuzzle not far down the thread with an interesting observation. "I think the reason we are seeing so many encounters designed with tank swaps in Mists," he/she writes, "is that fights are being designed with Raid Finder in mind ... They need both tanks to have a job to do. Tank swaps are the way to do that (because) most everyone can instantly understand (them)."

LFR might not be the only reason for that, but I think Snuzzle has a point. Encounters have to be programmed with the knowledge that Raid Finder groups will always have two tanks, 6 healers, and 17 DPS, no guarantees on class composition, and the knowledge that coordination will realistically be minimal. I don't think it necessarily reflects on the skill of the players concerned so much as the inherent disorganization. Under the circumstances, it would be extremely difficult to program an encounter like, say, Kael'thas or Teron Gorefiend or High King Maulgar, and have it remain somewhat close to the normal and heroic versions.

I don't know whether LFR actually does have a serious impact on raid design, but it's certainly an interesting question. In related news, the LFR version of Siege of Orgrimmar was nerfed recently for reasons I think all of us can guess.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Do you contribute to your favorite WoW database site?

Wowhead Uploader
You know that site you use every day to learn about quests and where things drop? All of that data -- who drops what, the percentages, the map locations -- comes from players who take the time to collect it and contribute. The more people who contribute, the more accurate the data. These lightweight addons collect the pertinent information in the background and upload when you exit the game.
  • The Wowhead Client will let you collect data for Wowhead and upload it at your convenience
  • The WoWDB Profiler addon works in conjunction with the Curse Client to contribute to WoWDB
Do you contribute to WoW database sites?
Yes450 (20.8%)
No1415 (65.5%)
I'm going to start295 (13.7%)

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: What's your favorite minor character?

Sasstromancer Darnarian
Everyone knows the major characters in WoW -- Thrall, Jaina, Varian, Garrosh, Vol'jin, Tyrande, Illidan, Moira, Sylvanas, Shandris... well, you get the idea. There are a lot of major players! But there are even more minor characters, when you think about it. All those named NPC questgivers, chatty city citizens, or profession trainers. There are lots of memorable characters among these small fry. Asric and Jadaar come to mind, for example. Also Chromie, the world's greatest bronze dragon-gnome. There's that jerk who strolls around the mage district in Stormwind, claiming that there are free drinks to be had at the Blue Recluse (LIAR). And who could forget Cro Threadstrong and the Fruit Vendor? Or Griftah? Hakmud of Argus always makes me laugh.

Nonetheless, I think my all-time favorite minor NPC has to be Astromancer Darnarian (perhaps more appropriately titled Sasstromancer Darnarian), from the old Shattered Sun Offensive dailies. Grumpy Darnarnian gave you a quest to attune a magic crystal so he could keep travel open between Quel'Danas and Shattrath, and he wasn't shy in letting us know how ungrateful we adventurers were for his efforts, either. Don't you know how hard it is to create and maintain a portal? Who do you think he is, Scotty? No, I will NOT "beam you up" at the drop of a hat, thank you very much!

Do you have a favorite minor NPC, quest giver, or vendor? Who is it and why? Tell us all about it!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: The achievement pie-in-the-sky

Ever since "the Insane" title was announced and implemented into World of Warcraft, I have wanted to complete it. I leveled a rogue, for the Ravenholdt requirement. I started collecting Black Diamonds and Darkmoon cards--for this was in the days pre-Cataclysm, when the Shen'dralar were required and the Darkmoon Faire was much less forgiving, rep-wise. I set my jaw. I squared my shoulders. I flexed my typing and clicking fingers. And I accomplished precisely squat.

I mean, there was my master's degree to finish, and then I was moving, and then I had a new job, and then... well, any number of excuses got between me and this achievement. But no longer, my friends! I have, at last, set myself to killing oodles of Booty Bay residents, and though I was well down the hated rep bar with the Bloodsail, I'm now approaching the required Honored. After that I'll have to turn back to the Steamwheedle Cartel and start that long grind, but at least I'll have the motivation of wanting to have my flight points back without having to worry about hordes of angry goblin bruisers swarming my way. My only regret is that, thanks to my laziness, I missed out on the chance to be exalted with the Shen'dralar, and now I have all these useless diamonds. Sure, it makes it easier now, but I really like their lore. I have no one but myself to blame.

Which are your "pie-in-the-sky" achievements? The ones you've told yourself that, of course, you're definitely going to do that one, you really want that title/mount/pet and you're totally getting started on it tomorrow. Have you actually gotten around to getting it done, or is it still on your check list, ink fading forlornly into an index card? Let us know in the comments!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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